ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — More than 200 St. Louis County kids will receive technology aimed at helping them learn while they are unable to attend school.
St. Louis County Library is providing 221 PBS Kids Playtime Pads to two school districts, Hancock Place and Ritenour, which will provide them to eligible families in their early childhood centers.
Each device comes pre-loaded with PBS content, including video clips, songs, educational games and apps, according to a press release from the library. Families do not need internet access to use the pads.
The Hancock Place School District will distribute the pads Wednesday.
Many families in the region are struggling to keep kids engaged and learning during the pandemic, particularly households with no internet access, the release said. The Playtime Pads provide accessible educational content without an internet connection.
St. Louis County Library is part of the COVID-19 Regional Response Team, working with various agencies to assist families.
“We are so thankful to the St. Louis County Library Foundation for supporting our efforts to assist area children while school is closed due to COVID-19," St. Louis County Library Director Kristen Sorth said. "We want to thank the Nine Network for being such a fantastic community partner as well as Ritenour and Hancock Place School Districts for piloting these devices with young learners at their early childhood centers. We know this is a challenging time for area families. St. Louis County Library is providing the PBS Playtime pads to assist our youngest learners with staying on track for kindergarten.”
The St. Louis County Library Foundation provided funding for the Playtime Pads, as part of their COVID-19 response support, which also includes emergency diaper and meal distribution at several St. Louis County Library branches.
For more information about the Playtime Pad lending program, please contact St. Louis County Library Communications Manager Jennifer McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are grateful to our partners for reaching out to the families of our youngest learners during this challenging time and providing the PBS Playtime Pads as a resource that all of our families can use, regardless of internet access. Putting the devices into the hands of these little ones, will arguably be their first opportunity to experience the joy of learning in this manner,” said Dr. Tim McInnis, Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Hancock Place School District.
Dr. Mike LaChance, Ritenour School District's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, added, "The library's donation of the Playtime Pads will provide our incoming kindergartners from the Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education and our English learner preschoolers a fun and meaningful way to enhance their kindergarten readiness skills over the summer."